KPIs for Marketing

KPIs for Marketing: outdoor ad visibility

Learn about the essential KPIs for measuring the effectiveness of outdoor advertising campaigns.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, many marketers mistakenly assume that outdoor advertising has lost its relevance. However, outdoor advertising remains a crucial player in overall marketing strategies, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential in measuring outdoor ad visibility. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into understanding the importance of KPIs in marketing and explore the key KPIs for outdoor advertising visibility.

Understanding the Importance of KPIs in Marketing

KPIs are the backbone of any successful marketing strategy. They provide a clear and measurable objective against which to evaluate performance and progress. Simply put, KPIs are quantifiable metrics that businesses use to track progress towards specific goals.

Defining Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

When it comes to marketing, KPIs help identify the success of any given campaign. They can range from awareness metrics like impressions and reach to engagement metrics like conversion rates and return on ad spend. By tracking each KPI, marketers can determine if a campaign is working effectively or if changes need to be implemented.

For example, if a business is running a social media campaign to increase brand awareness, they may track metrics such as the number of impressions and reach. If the campaign is successful, the number of impressions and reach should increase over time. If these metrics do not increase, the business may need to adjust their strategy or tactics to achieve their desired outcome.

The Role of KPIs in Marketing Strategy

KPIs play a vital role in marketing strategy. By defining KPIs ahead of time, businesses can align objectives and tactics, ensuring that all efforts are working towards a common goal. Moreover, by regularly monitoring these KPIs, marketers can pivot and adjust strategies and tactics on the fly to achieve optimal results.

For instance, if a business is running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign to increase website traffic, they may track metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), cost per click (CPC), and conversion rate. By monitoring these KPIs, marketers can determine if the campaign is generating a positive return on investment (ROI). If the ROI is not satisfactory, the business may need to adjust their targeting, ad copy, or landing page to improve the campaign's performance.

Another example of the importance of KPIs in marketing strategy is in email marketing. A business may track metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate to determine the success of their email campaigns. By monitoring these KPIs, marketers can adjust their subject lines, content, and frequency to improve engagement and drive conversions.

In conclusion, KPIs are essential to any successful marketing strategy. By defining and regularly monitoring these metrics, businesses can ensure that their marketing efforts are aligned with their objectives and are generating a positive return on investment.

Types of Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising encompasses a vast array of advertising options, from traditional billboards to guerrilla and ambient advertising. Understanding each type of advertising available can help businesses select the right advertising avenue to achieve optimal KPIs.

Billboards and Large-format Ads

This traditional form of outdoor advertising is still a powerful option. Billboards and large-format ads have the benefit of size and are often placed in high-traffic areas for maximum impressions and reach. However, given the prevalence of digital advertising, businesses need to find innovative ways to capture attention.

One way to make billboards and large-format ads more effective is to incorporate interactive elements. For example, a billboard could include a QR code that leads to a landing page with more information about the product or service being advertised. Another option is to use augmented reality technology to create an immersive experience for viewers.

Transit Advertising

Another popular option is transit advertising, including ads on buses, trains and taxis. Transit advertising has the benefit of being mobile, potentially reaching new audiences and providing increased frequency and exposure. Digital transit signage, as well as wrapped vehicles, are now frequently used, opening new avenues for advertising for businesses to explore.

One innovative approach to transit advertising is to incorporate location-based targeting. By using GPS technology, businesses can display ads that are tailored to the specific location of the transit vehicle. For example, a restaurant could display an ad for their lunch specials when the bus passes by during the lunch hour.

Street Furniture Advertising

Street furniture advertising consists of ads placed on city street furniture, such as benches, bus shelters, and kiosks. This advertising option is particularly useful for targeting specific neighbourhoods and demographics.

One way to make street furniture advertising more impactful is to incorporate interactive elements. For example, a bus shelter could include a touch screen display that allows users to browse through products or services being advertised. Additionally, incorporating local landmarks or cultural references in the ad design can help to create a stronger connection with the target audience.

Guerrilla and Ambient Advertising

Guerrilla and ambient advertising refer to unconventional advertising methods that disrupt existing mediums. This type of advertising relies on unexpected placements and tactics. Guerrilla advertising campaigns often go viral due to their ingenious and creative nature.

One example of guerrilla advertising is using chalk to create temporary ads on sidewalks or other public spaces. Another option is to use projection mapping technology to create dynamic, interactive displays on the side of a building or other surface. These types of campaigns can be highly effective in generating buzz and creating a memorable experience for viewers.

Measuring Outdoor Ad Visibility

Measuring outdoor ad visibility is crucial to a successful outdoor advertising campaign. However, it can be challenging to determine the effectiveness of an outdoor ad campaign, as it is difficult to track the behavior of passersby and determine if they actually engaged with the advertisement.

Despite these challenges, there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) that advertisers use to measure the effectiveness of their outdoor ad campaigns.

Impressions and Reach

Impressions refer to the number of times someone sees an ad. The reach of an outdoor campaign is the total number of people who may have viewed the ad. Measuring impressions and reach is essential to understanding the overall campaign effect.

For example, if a billboard is placed on a busy highway, it may receive a high number of impressions, but if the target audience is not a demographic that typically travels on that highway, the reach of the campaign may be limited.

Frequency and Exposure

Frequency is the average number of times a viewer has seen an ad from a campaign. Exposure represents the amount of time an ad is shown to a viewer. Both frequency and exposure impact overall visibility, and to measure these KPIs, advertisers often use geolocation data to target specific areas.

For example, a business may choose to place their outdoor ad in an area with high foot traffic to increase the frequency and exposure of their advertisement to potential customers.

Location and Traffic Data

Location and traffic data are crucial to understanding the effectiveness of an outdoor campaign. By analyzing these data points, businesses can confirm that their ads are placed in high-traffic locations that are relevant to their target audience.

For instance, if a business is targeting a young, urban demographic, they may choose to place their outdoor ad in a trendy neighborhood with high foot traffic, rather than a suburban area with less foot traffic.

Viewability and Clutter

Viewability represents the percentage of time an ad was viewable to a viewer. Clutter refers to the number of other advertisements placed in proximity to an ad. Measuring viewability and clutter helps advertisers understand the overall experience of a viewer engaging with an ad.

For example, if an outdoor ad is placed in an area with many other billboards or advertisements, it may be more difficult for the ad to stand out and receive high viewability. Advertisers may choose to place their outdoor ad in a less cluttered area to increase its visibility.

Overall, measuring outdoor ad visibility is essential to understanding the effectiveness of an outdoor advertising campaign. By analyzing KPIs such as impressions, reach, frequency, exposure, location, traffic data, viewability, and clutter, businesses can make informed decisions about their outdoor ad campaigns and maximize their impact on potential customers.

Key KPIs for Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising has been an effective marketing strategy for businesses for decades. With the advent of technology, outdoor advertising has evolved to include digital billboards, transit advertising, and more. By understanding the types of outdoor advertising and measuring outdoor ad visibility, marketers can establish clear KPIs to improve their marketing strategies.

Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM)

CPM refers to the cost per thousand impressions. It helps measure the cost-effectiveness of an outdoor advertising campaign based on the total number of impressions received. Impressions refer to the total number of times an ad is viewed, regardless of whether it leads to a conversion or not. By measuring CPM, businesses can compare the cost of different outdoor advertising campaigns and determine which ones are the most cost-effective.

For example, a billboard that costs $5,000 for a month and receives 500,000 impressions has a CPM of $10. Another billboard that costs $8,000 for a month and receives 1,000,000 impressions has a CPM of $8. By comparing the CPM of both billboards, businesses can determine which one provides a better return on investment.

Gross Rating Points (GRP)

GRP is a measure of the total exposure that a campaign receives, determined by multiplying the reach by the frequency. Reach refers to the number of people who see the ad at least once, while frequency refers to the average number of times each person sees the ad. This KPI helps businesses understand the overall campaign impact.

For example, a transit advertising campaign that reaches 1 million people and has an average frequency of 4 has a GRP of 4 million. By measuring GRP, businesses can determine the overall impact of their outdoor advertising campaigns and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Conversion Rates

Conversion rates represent the number of users who take a specific action, such as answering a call to action, after seeing an outdoor advertisement. It helps businesses understand how profitable an advertising campaign is in terms of goal conversion.

For example, a business that runs a digital billboard campaign with a call to action to visit their website can measure the conversion rate by tracking the number of website visits from users who saw the ad. By measuring conversion rates, businesses can determine the effectiveness of their outdoor advertising campaigns and make changes to improve their ROI.

Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS)

ROAS is a measure of the revenue generated for every dollar spent on advertising. This KPI helps businesses evaluate the ROI of an advertising campaign and identify areas for improvement.

For example, a business that spends $10,000 on a transit advertising campaign that generates $50,000 in revenue has an ROAS of 5. By measuring ROAS, businesses can determine the profitability of their outdoor advertising campaigns and adjust their strategies to improve their ROI.

In conclusion, by understanding and measuring these key KPIs, businesses can develop effective outdoor advertising campaigns that reach their target audience and generate a positive return on investment.


Outdoor advertising is still a valuable addition to any marketing strategy. By establishing clear KPIs and understanding the nuances of outdoor ad visibility, businesses can maximize the success of advertising campaigns. With an array of options available to marketers, it’s crucial to measure KPIs to determine the most effective advertising tactics to reach a wider audience.